Rockford native tells tales of travel
Adventurer, eight-time National Geographic grant winner and international filmmaker Jon Bowermaster (left) attends the opening of the new Paddle and Trail store in Beloit, Wis., with manager of the Rockford Paddle and Trail Store Rick Barton (center) and Rock River Times Editor & Publisher Frank Schier. Bowermaster, a Rockford native, also presented his new film SoLa: Lousiana Water Stories at Beloit College on March 3 and Memorial Hall March 4. The film focuses on the pollution in Louisiana and the Gulf, particularly the huge dead zone at the mouth of the Mississippi, which almost reaches Mexico on the Texas coast and the entire Louisiana coast with huge penetration into the Gulf of Mexico. Bowermaster was making this film just when the BP Gulf oil spill occurred, closing the work. The film also focuses on the oil and chemical industries’ other extensive pollution of delta and coastal bayou country, crippling the fishing industry and destroying the local Cajun culture. He even had a segment on the local Waterkeeper’s efforts to stop illegal forestry of cedar for mulch in stores like Walmart. The Gulf Dead Zone is the result of pollution from tributary streams like the Rock River, which discharge municipal waste and very large amounts of phosphorus and nitrate runoff from farm fertilizers. For more information, go to www.jonbowermaster.com, and if you’d like to purchase SoLa: Lousiana Water Stories, call Paddle and Trail at (815) 636-9066.
From the March 9-15, 2011, issue
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